Youth Day


12 Years of Building the Trades Together!

On November 23, 2016, the Industry Training Authority hosted their 12th annual ITA Youth Day for career educators across BC. This one day event was held at the River Rock Casino and Conference Centre, where 160 attendees gathered to learn, share, and discuss youth engagement in trades careers.

This year’s Youth Day focused on women in trades and guest speakers touched on their experiences in as female apprentices and how they overcame challenges in entering trades careers. The Keynote Speaker, Jamie McMillan, Owner and Ambassador, KickAss Careers, shared her story of how she began her career in trades and since then, has never looked back.  Jamie has been speaking to females and youth in the trades and encouraging them ever since.  

Other speakers included three female apprentices, Maia Koch, Leah Kelly and Jaymee Lynn, each speaking to their satisfaction in their career choices and how much they are looking forward to achieving their trade certification. Two speakers from post- secondary institutions, Tamara Pongracz from BCIT and Deanna Littlejohn from VIU, shared practices that foster self-confidence and self-reliance, while promoting a good classroom culture.  

Throughout the day, there were robust discussions around best practices for trades training in high schools.   Douglas Brewer from Coast Mountain School District, Craig Tessier from Surrey School District and Brian Campbell from Fort St. John shared their best practices in presenting programs that are sustainable, develop community partnerships and better prepare youth for the transition from high school to work.   

Two important stakeholders were also recognized.  Brenda Graziano, from Career Education Society and Randy Callaghan from PCL Construction, were recognized for their contributions to the Youth Work in Trades & Train in Trades programs.    

Jeff Lekstrom, ITA COO, then invited Lisa Langevin, from Build Together BC to share results from her research project. She was pleased to share what Build Together BC chapter plans to accomplish as she works with tradeswomen throughout BC, ensuring equality in the trades industry.

Minister Bond offered encouraging words in her closing remarks, touching on the value of education, the work of career educators, and the progress of females in trades industry in BC. She also addressed the importance of youth engagement in trades and shared excitement for the updated Youth Trades Training Programs, referencing the refreshed program names. Minister Bond emphasized the importance of trades in BC and encouraged career educators to help change the perception of trades amongst youth and their communities so that trades careers are no longer seen as “the third option.”

Check out all of the photos from Youth Day.

View the presentations from Youth Day:

Keynote: Jamie McMillan, Tools in Schools (contact for info)

Facebook Live Stream with Leah Kelly, Maia Koch and Jaymee Lynn

Marketing, Attracting and Retaining Females in trades training:

ITA Youth Programs Session: Jason Leber, ITA

Best Practices Session:

Hot Topics: Round Table Sessions